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Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jun 24 03:09:35 UTC 2002

At 12:55 PM -0400 6/21/02, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>On Fri, Jun 21, 2002 at 12:49:41PM -0400, Steve Kl. wrote:
>>  On Fri, 21 Jun 2002, Thomas Paikeday wrote:
>>  > "American and British dictionaries have no clear notion of the female
>>  > genitals." Visit: (Hint: click
>>  > "Trademark Affidavits").
>>  I couldn't access this page.
>>  Is the URL right?
>No, it should end in "index.htm"
>                            ^
Very nice treatments.  I've actually written papers on both lexical
clones (Tom's page 3) and un-nouns (his page 4), and heartily endorse
the gist of his presentations here, although I've argued that each of
the constructions is somewhat more complex that what Tom is able to
provide in his affidavits (I'd better, since I've devoted a whole lot
more ink/electrons to these constructions in my format than Tom could
do in his).  In particular, I've divided (in "Un-Covering the
Un-Word", published in the Japanese journal Sophia Linguistica 49
(2002): 1-64) the class of un-nouns into two groups, the A (for
"Almost")-class un-noun, in which an unX is almost (but not quite) a
member of the category X, as in "un-cola" or "un-petroleum lip jelly"
(my cite is not quite the same as Tom's but close--

"Un-Petroleum(TM) Lip Jelly(TM)
Un-Chap® your lips"
(Label on product manufactured by Autumn Harp, Bristol, Vermont)

--and I wonder whether this is indeed the company to which Tom refers
in his affidavit), vs. the B (for "Barely")-class un-noun, in which
an unY is indeed a member of the category Y, but not a prototype
member (in Rosch's sense), i.e. not a Y Y.  There are some nice
examples that oppose a B-class un-noun with a lexical clone, as in:

Undesign:  Moving Away from Aggressive Décor
(NYT headline, 2 June 1988, C6)
"Nothing is 'design designed'.  Nothing has a signature."
-New York architect Diana Agrest

or, for that matter, an anti-clone like the "un-diet diet".


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